December 17, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. We have posted summaries and links to over 50,000 news articles and announcements. We also post breaking stories and exclusives. Be sure to check not only today's news, but take a look at the headlines from the past several days as well. Articles often come to our attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, Editor
Maine Energy Planning Roadmap hearings, Dec 19, Dec 29, Jan 10
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

The Governor’s Energy Office is asking Mainers for input in developing an Energy Planning Roadmap. Public hearings:
• Dec. 19: University of Southern Maine, Portland
• Dec. 29: Energy, Utilities, & Technology Committee, Augusta
• Jan. 10: University of Maine, Presque Isle
Help wanted: Visitor Center Assistant
Announcement - Monday, December 11, 2017 

Seasonal position, May 1 - October 31, 2018, representing Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program at the Project Puffin Visitor Center in Rockland.
Free Skiing & Learn-to-Ski Clinics, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Waterville Parks & Rec, with support from Friends of Quarry Road, will provide free trail passes, free rentals, and free learn-to-ski clinics at Quarry Road Trails, December 16.
Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond Preserve Hike, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Cloe Chunn will lead a hike of Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond, a preserve of Coastal Mountains Land Trust. Meet at Swanville Transfer Station, December 16, 10 am. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Tax bill would slam the brakes on solar and wind energy
Action Alert - Friday, December 8, 2017 

The tax bill passed by the Senate last Friday includes an obscure provision that could pull the rug out from under solar and wind power. The House version also takes aim at renewable energy by rolling back key tax credits. These provisions "would have a devastating ... impact on wind and solar energy," according to renewable energy industry leaders. ~ Environment Maine
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Tim Hudson, Superintendent, will take you through the landscape of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument with pictures. At Belfast Free Library, December 14, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Whales of the Gulf of Maine: A Naturalist’s Report, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Zack Klyver, chief naturalist for the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company and founder of Flukes whale watch ecotours, will present an engaging review of the 2017 whale watch season. At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, December 14, 12 pm.
Olive oil tasting, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

FIORE Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars will host an evening to support the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust at its tasting room in Brunswick, December 13, 5-7 pm.
The Arctic Needs Your Help
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 

Buried deep within the Senate tax bill is a provision to open the pristine Arctic Refuge, a national treasure, to oil and gas drilling, which will cause widespread pollution and harm to the wildlife and people who call this place home. Express your disappointment to Senator Susan Collins and urge her to protect our natural legacy by working to remove this damaging language before the tax bill becomes law. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Birds from the Footbridge in Belfast, Dec 9
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 2, 2017 

Join Ron Harrell and Gary Gulezian to watch ducks, loons and other birds in the harbor. At the Belfast Footbridge, December 9, 8-10 am. Organized by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Win $1,000 L.L.Bean shopping spree and an outing with David Sibley
Announcement - Friday, December 1, 2017 

Wildlife Acoustics, makers of the Song Sleuth bird identifying app, launched the Sibley Sweepstakes on December 1. Ends March 1. No purchase necessary to enter.
Baxter State Park sign auction, ends Dec 6
Announcement - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Auction of retired Baxter State Park signs, plus the historic dinner bell from Kidney Pond Camps. Friends Baxter State Park will donate half the proceeds to Baxter State Park, and half will support FBSP programs. Ends December 6.
Blazing Ahead: the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Jeffrey Ryan tells the story of the unlikely creation of the Appalachian Trail. At Bangor Public Library, December 7, 6 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
Celebrate CREA and the Season, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Meet new Executive Director Wendy Van Damme, hear about new programs and plans, and contemplate the joy of winter activity at the Cathance River Education Alliance’s 235 acre nature preserve in Topsham. At Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, December 7, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, RSVP.
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News Items
Experiential learning brings the students to the experience
Fiddlehead Focus (St. John Valley, Aroostook County) - Monday, April 30, 2012 

On March 22 through April 1, Associate Professor of Education and Environmental Science Bruno Hicks and Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies Steve Selva brought a group of 11 students from Hicks’ Introduction to the Principles of Environmental Science class, including four seniors, to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee for an environmental field trip. The University of Maine at Fort Kent offers students in its environmental studies program the opportunity to experience the subjects they are studying in the field, a form of experiential learning.
Environmental Restoration Creates Jobs: Dams Coming Down
Other - Monday, April 30, 2012 

SustainableBusiness.com - Jobs in environmental restoration are among those with the greatest potential. In March, workers finished removing the 108-foot tall Elwha Dam in Oregon. The river is now flowing freely for the first time in almost a century. Now, workers have turned to largest dam-removal project in U.S. history - the 210-foot tall Glines Canyon Dam. It was built in 1927 and will be gone in about a year. Other similar dam removal projects are moving forward, such as two big dams in the Penobscot River in Maine, which will restore 11 fish species, including the endangered Atlantic Salmon.
Federal Agencies Make it Easier to Describe and Understand Critical Habitat Boundaries for ESA-Protected Species
Other - Monday, April 30, 2012 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service have taken a significant step in their effort to make the process of proposing or changing boundaries of critical habitat designations for species protected by the Endangered Species Act, more efficient, less complex and less expensive. By eliminating lengthy textual descriptions and replacing them with maps illustrating critical habitat boundaries, the two agencies will effectively provide landowners and the general public with information that is clearer, while simultaneously reducing costs for the American taxpayer.
State Purchases More Than 5,700 Acres Of Land
WABI-TV5 - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Maine has purchased more than 5,700 acres south of Millinocket in Piscataquis County, including two miles of Seboeis Lake shoreland. State and conservation advocates say Monday's $2.7-million purchase in Lakeville Plantation is expected to enhance outdoor recreation, tourism, public access and economic development throughout the region. The purchase from the Bigelow Timber Corp. of Madison, funded with federal and state money, brings into state ownership a key link in a regional system of snowmobile and ATV trails between Milo and Millinocket. Seboeis Lake is popular for boating, water access and its views of Mount Katahdin.
Border security bill a threat to ecology, preservation
Other - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Houston Chronicle (TX) - A bill making its way through Congress would bequeath to the Department of Homeland Security complete control of all federal lands in a coast-to-coast zone 100 miles south of the Canadian border and 100 miles north of the Mexican border from California to the Gulf of Mexico. The bill, with strong Republican support, is being touted as a necessary step in securing the nation's borders. But it is also being roundly condemned as a thinly veiled attempt to "gut a century's worth" of environmental laws aimed at preserving public lands, historic sites and national monuments. U.S. Customs and Border Protection would be exempt from compliance with more than 30 environmental laws. The bill has cleared committees in the House and is on the calendar for a vote on the floor. Federal lands that fall within the 100-mile zone include Acadia National Park in Maine.
Orrington gravel mining operation irritates neighbors
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 30, 2012 

A forestry and gravel mining operation off Route 15 is intruding on otherwise quiet neighborhoods in Orrington and across the Penobscot River in Hampden, residents say. “That’s why we bought here,” resident Dennis Colson said Monday afternoon during an informal gathering at neighbor Jim McDougal’s home in south Orrington. Last winter, the noise was connected to timber harvesting, McDougal and a group of about half a dozen neighbors said. The worksite is owned by Michael Thornton of Thornton Construction in Milford.
Report: Maine's Participation in Greenhouse Gas Emission Cap & Trade an Economic Boon
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, April 30, 2012 

It's been three years since the RGGI, or The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, was implemented by Maine and nine other states in the east. The goal was to reduce greenhouse gases by requiring power plants to pay for carbon allowances. In its first review of the program, Environment Northeast said states have seen significant economic gains, and those gains could be better if emissions are further capped. According to Environment Northeast, the program has generated $30 million in revenue for Maine and around 1,000 jobs. The net value of the past three years, said Environment Northeast's Maine director Beth Nagusky, is $102 million. All of the money raised through RGGI, save for administrative costs, goes into energy efficient projects.
Biomass Plants in Maine Could Be Hurt By Mass. Rules
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Maine has nine stand-alone plants that can produce biomass energy for sale out of state. They have a big stake in what happens with proposed emissions regulations in Massachusetts. The rules, being pushed by the administration of Governor Deval Patrick, would require plants selling biomass energy in the commonwealth to reduce carbon emissions, if they hope to get lucrative renewable power credits from the state. "These regs represent the first meaningful effort to develop quantitative standards, based on the science," said Jonathan Paress, head of the Clean Energy and Climate Change Program at the Conservation Law Foundation.
Lovitch Helps Us Be Better Birders
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Eventually, I became a birder, a higher level of bird watching that sent me on Audubon trips in Maine and to far away places including Texas and Costa Rica in search of birds. Linda and I just returned from our third Texas birding adventure where we added 34 new species to our life’s list. And thanks to Derek Lovitch, I was much more effective in identifying the birds this trip. Just before leaving Maine, I read Lovitch’s "How to Be a Better Birder," a 200-page paperback published this year. Lovitch recommends looking at the whole bird first, from its shape to its flying pattern to its habitat.
New program joins energy audits with weatherization work
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Few people go to one car mechanic for a diagnosis of a rattle in the engine, then go to another to get the necessary repairs. But that’s the way Maine’s nascent home energy audit and weatherization work has been done. Under a new consumer program offered by Efficiency Maine, homeowners can have an energy audit and six hours of work improving a building’s heat retention done all in one day by the same contractor.
No More Land for Maine's Future?
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Monday, April 30, 2012 

A modest $5 million bond issue for the out-of-money Land for Maine’s Future program is in jeopardy. Gov. Paul LePage’s antipathy to bonding is well known. But the Appropriations Committee proceeded to put together a group of bonds totaling $98 million. The LMF bond is the smallest. In response to the work of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, the bond includes language strengthening the focus of LMF on the purchase and protection of deer wintering yards. Potential LMF funded projects are already rated higher if they include deeryards, and LMF has already purchased 15,000 acres of deeryards. While we await the LMF bond language, I can tell you that no landowner is going to sell the state a stand-alone deeryard. Nor is the deeryard sufficient to sustain deer – surrounding habitat is also important. Democratic legislators are solidly for the LMF bond. But many Republicans, particularly in the House, seem to be opposed to the LMF bond in particular.
Maine acquires 5,700 acres around Seboeis Lake for outdoor recreation, timber, wildlife
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Maine officials on Monday announced the acquisition of more than 5,700 acres of land south of Millinocket in a deal that will protect an additional 2 miles of shoreline along Seboeis Lake while securing key snowmobile and ATV routes in the region. Several years in the making, the $2.7 million deal means that nearly all of Seboeis Lake’s 19 miles of shoreline is owned by the state of Maine.
PUC approves transmission alternative for midcoast
Portland Press Herald - Monday, April 30, 2012 

The Maine Public Utilities Commission today approved a pilot program to test alternatives to building costly new transmission lines in the midcoast region. The agreement between Portland-based GridSolar, the Maine Public Advocate, the Conservation Law Foundation, Environment Northeast and the Efficiency Maine Trust supports development of a smart-grid pilot project in the Boothbay region. This pilot is the first of its kind in Maine and is designed to test the use of non-transmission alternatives as a way to avoid building an $18 million upgrade to a transmission line in the region.
Plum Creek 1Q Profit Fell 24% Amid Lower Earnings At Real Estate Unit
Wall Street Journal - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Plum Creek Timber Co.'s first-quarter earnings fell 24% as the real-estate investment trust was hurt by weaker earnings at its real-estate business where sales rose but missed expectations.
Mild weather creates differing scenarios for Maine insects
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Fewer mosquitoes, more grubs, but no discernible difference for black flies or bees. According to entomologists in Maine, that’s what the mild weather this winter has done so far for insect populations in the state. Insects that thrive in Maine’s vast rural and wooded areas tend to disappear in the winter as cold and snow set in and then re-emerge with the spring thaw, which often is called “mud season” in the most northerly state on the East Coast. But with a winter like this past one, which had little snowfall and relatively mild temperatures, the conditions have resulted in a mixed bag of effects on insects.
State of Maine Acquires Important Seboeis Lake Acreage
Maine Government News - Monday, April 30, 2012 

The acquisition today by the State of Maine of more than 5,700 acres south of Millinocket, including 2 miles of Seboeis Lake shoreland, is expected to enhance outdoor recreation, tourism, public access and economic development throughout the region, according to state and conservation officials. The 5,741-acre Lake View Plantation land acquisition finalized Monday expands the Seboeis Lands Unit managed by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands to more than 21,000 acres. The State of Maine and The Trust for Public Land have worked for several years to purchase this strategic property. Most of the $2.7 million purchase price was secured with $2,187,941 through the federal Forest Legacy Program. Additional funding included $483,136 from the state’s Land for Maine’s Future program and $14,461.50 each from the federal Recreational Trails Program and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands. In addition, The Trust for Public Lands contributed $37,000 for appraisal and survey costs.
Frenchboro Cleanup Yields Four Tons of Trash
Ellsworth American - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust recently completed a shore cleanup at its preserve on Frenchboro Long Island. Led by regional steward Terry Towne, and with support from the Butler Conservation Fund and The Greenrock Co., the effort yielded 140 large trash bags, 175 lobster traps and other debris that together totaled nearly four tons.
NOAA Fisheries Service announces steps that may assist fishing industry facing Georges Bank yellowtail flounder quota reductions
Other - Monday, April 30, 2012 

NOAA will take several steps that may help minimize the economic loss for commercial fishermen who face cuts in Georges Bank yellowtail fishery quota, which is jointly fished and managed with Canada.
EXCLUSIVE: Senate Ag Committee votes to increase conservation funding
Maine Environmental News - Monday, April 30, 2012 

According to the Land Trust Alliance, last Thursday by a bipartisan vote of 16-5, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved a revised draft of the 2012 Farm Bill. A new cap on future appropriations for the Forest Legacy Program was raised from $55 million to $200 million a year. A similar cap on the Community Forests Program would be increased from $1.5 million to $50 million. A vote on the Senate floor is expected in the next few weeks. Only state agencies are eligible for Forest Legacy funding, which focuses on private forest lands threatened by conversion to non-forest uses. Nonprofit groups, such as land trusts, as well as local governments and Indian Tribes, are eligible for Community Forest funding, which is used to sustain natural vegetation and public access. To date, Maine has received $51.7 million from the Forest Legacy Program, more than any other state by far, to help conserve 682,500 acres.
Carson wildlife refuge restoring habitat
Seacoast Online - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge volunteers will plant native shrubs to restore habitat on Saturday, May 5. Native shrubland habitat is in decline in the Northeast. Many species, including the state-endangered New England cottontail, and bird species such as the prairie warbler and willow flycatcher, are also in decline. Forest maturation, fire suppression and human development are the primary reasons for the loss of this habitat. The refuge is working with private, public and nonprofit partners to restore early successional habitat for these shrubland-dependent species.
Hancock Lumber takes advantage of global demand for Maine's prized tree
Mainebiz - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Growing up to 150 feet tall, the Eastern white pine tree is a hallmark of the Maine landscape. The tallest tree in eastern North America, Eastern whites were once known as "mast pines" and were reserved for the British Royal Navy. Luckily for Hancock Lumber CEO Kevin Hancock, they also make one heck of a TV tray. Bolstered by increased international sales of their Eastern white pine to locations like Canada, China and Pakistan, Hancock Lumber was named 2011 Exporter of the Year by the Maine International Trade Center. Growing demand for Maine wood products on the international market have increased sales of "appearance grade" woods like Eastern white pine, the only species of tree that Hancock handles.
Murky ethics in Augusta could chill private business owners seeking public service
Mainebiz - Monday, April 30, 2012 

The cases of Darryl Brown at the Maine DEP and State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin highlight the complications some business owners encounter when they make the transition to public service, while underscoring the ethical ambiguities of Maine's governance standards. Although each case has its own set of facts and standards — commissioners are appointed by the governor, whereas constitutional officers such as the treasurer, secretary of state and attorney general are elected by the Legislature — each man ran up against provisions designed to prevent conflicts of interest. The result, say some political observers, could cause business owners to think twice before leaving the private sector to serve the public.
A Freeport kayak maker and boatbuilding students combine skills to their mutual benefit
Mainebiz - Monday, April 30, 2012 

One of the oldest manufacturers of canoes and kayaks in the state, Freeport-based Lincoln Canoe and Kayak has been churning out its distinctive brand of handmade boats since 1959. Lincoln's products have come a long way since the company was founded by two college students inspired by a summer spent lugging an 80-pound aluminum canoe through the Canadian wilderness. Current co-owner Marc Bourgoin saw a need for modern manufacturing techniques that he fulfilled by tapping a cadre of young boatbuilders in southern Maine and offering his production facility as a learning lab. Today, as a result of that partnership, Lincoln Canoe and Kayak has doubled its wholesale business over 2011, and can hardly keep the boats on the showroom floor.
A Trip to See Bernd Heinrich
Other - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Well known naturalist Bernd Heinrich lives in Maine and Vermont. This blog reports on a visit by Craig Neff and Pamelia Markwood of the Naturalist's Notebook (an "exploratorium in the coastal village of Seal Harbor, Maine") to visit him in his natural habitat.
Lawmakers see NOAA 'double standard' in mammal killings
Other - Monday, April 30, 2012 

Gloucester Times (MA) - Seismic testing for oil and gas reserves under the ocean floor from New Jersey to Florida — the area President Obama has authorized for extraction — is projected to "take" or kill as many as 38,637 marine mammals a year, according to an independent synthesis of the government's draft environmental impact statement. Earlier in the week, the fishing industry was confronted with a decision to shutdown the inshore gillnet fishery for two months in the fall due to unacceptable take levels of harbor porpoises based on limited data projected through modeling. The industry may also be facing extreme limits along the East Coast on fishing throughout the range of the Atlantic sturgeon, which was granted protections in the Endangered Species Act. Massachusetts state Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, said the harm to mammals from the planned seismic testing showed government operated with a hypocritical "double standard."
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